How to Photoshop a Person or an Object Out of a Photograph

By Techwalla Contributor

We've all taken photographs only to discover later that an unwanted person or object snuck into the picture. The next time this happens to you, rather than abandon the picture, use Photoshop to carefully remove the extraneous object or person. This isn't a one-button fix; it takes time and attention, and the simpler the background, the better the chance of success.

Step 1

Launch Photoshop on your computer. Open the image by selecting "File" and then "Open." Browse to the photo and highlight it. Click "Open." Make a copy of the photo by clicking "Save As" to preserve the original.

Step 2

Zoom in close to the object you want to remove without losing the shape. Zooming in allows you to better control the cloning and minimizes the amount of work you need to do. Click on the magnifying glass tool and then click on your photo a few times.

Step 3

Click on the cloning stamp tool and choose a diameter of circle to use at the top of the screen. A circle appears on the photo to indicate the size of the circle you choose in relation to the photo.

Step 4

When you clone an object out of a photograph, use the area around your object to cover up the unwanted item in your photo. Position the circle close to the object you are removing but outside it. Click in the area while holding down the "Alt" key, or "Option" on a Mac, to "pick up" a sample of the area.

Step 5

Move the stamp tool to the object to delete, close to the background area you just picked up. Click it to apply the background over the object. Click or paint to repeat in nearby areas where the background remains constant.

Step 6

Resample the background as often as necessary to blend the corrected area into the background. Change stamp sizes when necessary for detailed work or to fill large areas at one time. Work from the outside towards the inside of the object.

Step 7

View your work at regular and enlarged sizes to evaluate the removal. Click "Save."

Tips & Warnings

  • When I first edited this photo I forgot to clone the person's feet out. Be sure to check your photo carefully for all details.
  • For large areas in your photograph such as solid walls or large areas of grass, try using a larger cloning circle or square to cover more ground quickly, then go back and use a small brush tip for the finer details.
  • DO NOT SAVE YOUR WORK IN THE ORIGINAL PHOTO FILE. WHEN SAVING YOUR WORK, RENAME THE PHOTO YOU ARE WORKING WITH SO YOU WILL NOT LOOSE THE ORIGINAL.
  • YOU MAY NEED THE ORIGINAL PHOTO TO START ALL OVER AGAIN IN CASE YOU MAKE A MISTAKE.